Robert Browning

     - Developed dramatic monologue after his long poem Sordello (1840) was widely criticized.  He wanted a method of allowing the reader to see behind the mask of the speaker in the poem.  If the speaker is talking to someone else rather than us, then we can get some insight into the person's viewpoint.

A dramatic monologue is a conversation between two (or more) people, but you only hear one side of it.   It's like listening to a friend on the telephone & trying to figure out the rest of the conversation.  Gives insight into personality of speaker because they aren’t tailoring conversation to please you, the eavesdropper.

     Developed this because he was criticized by John Stuart Mill for being too impersonal in his writing.

"Porphyria’s Lover"

"Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister"

"My Last Duchess (pg 1985)"

"The Bishop Orders His Tomb" (1987)

"Love among the Ruins" 2062

The narrator was entering an area where a great capitol had once stood; now it was fields.  One theme here is memento mori: we will die, and even civilizations will die.
He was meeting a girl there.  They were in love.   Here the idea is carpe diem: seize the day.  How can you love in the face of death; the answer is that we must love because we always face death.

"Fra Lippo Lippi" 2070

Lippo Lippi is on his way home past curfew. 
Some watchmen stop him.  He gives this speech in an attempt to talk his way out of being taken in.
He is a monk and also a great artist, but he finds the restrictions the church places on monks to be too harsh.
He sneaks out at night to drink and have sex with women.